Speech ActsGAMBIER, Ohio (March 30, 2006) A March 14 article in the Washington Post celebrates the rapid rise of 2002 Kenyon graduate Christian D. Brose to "the heights of Washington speechwriting," climbing "in one year from bottom rung to chief speechwriter at the State Department"--a trajectory that "could have been scripted in Hollywood," although it started on a hill in Gambier, Ohio.
Brose was recently named chief speechwriter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He has penned many of Rice's major speeches on the spread of democracy over the globe, expertly capturing the secretary's voice and "earning the admiration of Rice's top aides."
Brose not only communicates Rice's messages but helps shape them as well. Jim Wilkinson, one of Rice's senior advisors, tells the Post that Brose has "'become one of her closest advisers on policy and communications.'" The article claims that "Rice considers Brose such an asset that she often brings him along when she travels overseas."
Elizabeth Cheney, a principal deputy assistant secretary of state, praises Brose as "one of the best" among speechwriters in Washington, remarkable both for his "'mastery of subject matter' and his 'intellectual curiosity.'"
Brose evinced and honed those qualities as an honors political science major at Kenyon with a concentration in the Integrated Program in Humane Studies. Following graduation, he worked as a writer and editor at two prestigious policy journals. When one of his bosses left the journal for a post as a speechwriter to then Secretary of State Colin Powell, Brose managed to get an interview and landed a job as well.
Neither Brose nor his fellow speechwriters knew if they would be keeping their jobs following the 2004 election when Rice was nominated for the secretary's post. They were asked to meet with Rice in the White House situation room to discuss her confirmation hearings. According to the Post, "The conversation meandered and seemed uninspired, Rice aides said, until the 25-year-old Brose shyly raised his hand and offered a suggestion that, for Rice, crystallized her foreign policy themes."
Brose is credited with writing the speech on Middle Eastern democracy delivered by Rice in Cairo last summer, a speech that has become "one of the defining moments of her tenure." In Rice's speeches, Brose works "to connect her life story--growing up black in a segregated South--with the struggle to build democracy in faraway lands," a rhetorical strategy that "seems to strike a chord with audiences here and abroad."
The article is online at WashingtonPost.com
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